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The Emerson

Emerson - 3I was looking back through the cocktails that I wanted to write about and found this one from back in May, 2007.  Okay, curious. Why hadn’t I written about this one yet?  I looked back at the cocktail hazed notes that we jotted down at the time and they seemed favorable.  Well, today’s the day.   Step one, head to bookshelf and find the recipe. Hmmm. this is becoming clearer.  I think that I made it just after I got a bottle of Maraschino and found this recipe that used it, because the only version of this recipe that I can find is in my increasingly vintage copy of Mr. Boston (63rd ed., ca. 1989).  Curious.  I don’t normally use Mr. Boston, because, while containing many recipes, they are generally neither 1) authoritative, 2) popular nor 3) good.   Enough of a rant about the good people who publish Mr. Boston’s Official Bartenders Guide.  The recipe it gives is:

  • 1 1/2 oz. Gin
  • 1 oz. Sweet Vermouth
  • Juice of 1/2 lime (1/2 oz.)
  • 1 tsp. Maraschino Liqueur
  • Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.

It’s actually kind of an enjoyable refreshing cocktail, if a little sweet.

I did a little searching for some background, history, etc.  Nada.  I mentioned none of the books in my modestly extensive collection seemed to even mention this cocktail.  I even have Ted Saucier’s Bottoms Up! on loan from the university library. It is in and I found a reference on Liquor is Quicker.  Both mention that the recipe should contain Old Tom gin rather than London Dry  and the ratios are  slightly different.  DrinkSnob (author of Liquor is Quicker) also mentions that he found the recipe in David Embury’s The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks.  I think I might have to look into getting a copy of this one.  Original copies (either from 1948 or 1958, seem to be going for hundreds of dollars, but recently Mud Puddle Books has reissued it with what appear to be introductions by Robert Hess and Audrey Saunders (of Pegu Club fame).

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